Real Madrid assistant manager Zinedine Zidane is keen for Gareth Bale to sign for Los Blancos "as soon as possible", with speculation the Tottenham star will move to the Bernabeu continuing to mount.
Madrid have publicly pursued Bale this summer and despite Spurs claiming time and again that their winger is not for sale, it appears the nine-time European champions are winning the race to sign him.
And Zidane is hopeful a deal can be wrapped up soon for the Welshman, who is also reportedly a target for Manchester United.
"We’re not going to give up on Bale", Zidane told Le 10 Sport. "It’s impossible to forget about a player of his quality.
"It’s only normal that Tottenham want him to sign a new contract but we’ve made it clear that he’s one of our main objectives."
Zidane continued by telling reporters: “If Gareth has expressed a desire to join Madrid, then Tottenham should give him permission to speak with us.
“The chance to play for Real Madrid might only come around once in a player’s lifetime and it is understandable that Gareth doesn’t want to miss out on it.
“It is not unusual when a player knows that Real Madrid are interested in them that they get excited. There is nothing more prestigious for a player than to wear the white of Real Madrid.”
Zidane went on to suggest Bale already deserves to be recognised among the best players in world football, before claiming he would give himself the chance to join the game’s all-time greats if he takes on the challenge at Real Madrid.
“Last season Gareth was on the same level as (Cristiano) Ronaldo and (Lionel) Messi and in modern football, you have to pay to get the best,” he added when asked about a possible £85m deal for Bale.
“The best players can have not so great games, but change a game with a moment of brilliance. Those are the sort of players that win you Champions League’s and League titles.
“He is already one of the finest player in Europe and he has everything needed to become the best player in the world. It is a bit of a cliché, but it is true you become a better player playing with better players.”
Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas also spoke about Bale’s quality, describing him as "one of the three of four best players in the world" and someone "capable of changing a game".
Reports in the Guardian suggest that Bale shares Real’s eagerness to push the deal through as soon as possible, and that the situation could turn sour should Spurs continue rejecting the Spanish club’s advances.
The newspaper claims Bale’s representatives will meet with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy this week, and if talks don’t advance then the 24-year-old could hand in a transfer request.
According to Spanish daily AS, Spurs are willing to negotiate with Madrid but they are apparently demanding €98 million plus full-back Fabio Coentrao. And with the Portuguese defender valued at around €20 million, it would mean Los Blancos will have to pay as much as €120 million for Bale’s signature.